THE United Nations designated July 11 as World Population Day to highlight the ever increasing numbers of people who inhabit our planet.

There are roughly 7.2 billion of us and the number is increasing by 227,000 each day.

The effect of this is to increase the demand on our supply of land, water, food and fossil fuels.

This results in changes to our landscape and drives out wildlife as we make use of every corner of our globe.

The solutions include: education, empowerment of women, better standards of living and increased access to family planning, contraception and reproductive health care.

The good news is that the increase is slowing because we are living longer, the population will keep increasing even when the birth-rate stabilises.

Dr Peter Hirst Middlewich